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Facebook vs Google – who will fire the next shot?

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
31 January 2011

Ding ding – Round 2!

Over the weekend I found myself reading an article on the Wall Street Journal website entitled ‘Will Google survive Facebook?‘ – a short but interesting piece by James B Stewart, apparently inspired by the recent drop in Google’s share price.

The long and short of the piece (in case you don’t have time to read it) is that Google should be riding high based on recent performance, but it seems like they – and their shareholders – are feeling the force of the Facebook effect, especially as a result of THEIR recent investment successes.

One of the lines that stood out for me was this:

Last week, Google co-founder Sergey Brin remarked that what has been done already in Social Search, Google’s social-networking feature, is “just the tip of the iceberg” and represents only “one percent of the capabilities that can be deployed in that realm.”

Now tell me if I’m being harsh here, but this sounds like a slightly defensive tone from Brin – not to mention the fact that it’s quite hard to believe they have much more “to be deployed” – yet they haven’t actually deployed it. If you were Google, surely endless failures and stalled attempts to take the lead in social avenues would just make you more determined to crack that nut? But Google seem to take a very relaxed approach…

With today’s announcement (yet another ‘surprise launch’ which seemingly everybody already knew about) of Facebook Deals coming to the UK (and Europe), Facebook have launched yet another advancement aiming to keep users happy and their proposition evolving. Presumably we can expect a retaliatory ‘launch’ from Google some time soon… and if not, how long will they wait?

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